Wed 13th July 2011 - Oversley Wood (Warks)

Today I returned to Oversley Wood with my mate Jared 'Bellamy' Tibbetts, primarily to see the Purple Emperors but also to see any other butterflies that were on the wing.  The weather was cloudier than my previous visit a couple of weeks before so it was fingers crossed as to whether we would get our target species.  In total we saw 19 species of butterfly.

Whilst we were walking the rides we bumped into a couple of gents (Richard & Steve) that I knew from some of the Worcestershire asites that I visit, so the four of us decided to walk the reserve together (more pairs of eyes and all that).  During the walk we did in fact see 4 Purple Emperors that flew over the canopies.  The highlight of these was a ♀ being chased by a noticeably smaller .  The views were sufficient but not a patch on last time when I had one perched...but that's wildlife watching, you need to be in the right place at the right time and then have a certain amount of luck.

Interestingly enough we only saw one White Admiral, leading me to believe that they are over a bit earlier due to emerging early this year.  We also recorded 10+ Silver-washed Fritillary, 1 Brown Argus, 1 Large Skipper, Small Skipper, Essex Skipper, Red Admiral, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Speckled Wood, Large White, Small White, Green-veined White and Purple Hairstreak.  We didn't record any White-letter Hairstreaks on this visit.

Other insects of interest included Narrow-bordered Five-Spot Burnett  moth, Large Red Damselfly, Banded Demoiselle and Southern Hawker dragonfly. Of note bird wise were a small party of Marsh Tits and a stunning dark phase Common Buzzard that was perched in a nearby tree.

Of course a trip out with Bellamy (sorry I mean Jared) wouldn't be the same without him sharing some of his extensive botanical knowledge on the way round.  During the course of the walk he pointed out a variety of interesting flora including - Agrimony, Bettany, Corn Mint, Creeping Jenny, Nettle-leafed Campanula, Meadowsweet, Perforate St. John's Wort and Enchanter's Nightshade (what an ace name!)  All in all it was another enjoyable day out at Oversley Wood.

Comma on Meadowsweet

Purple Hairstreak

Silver-washed Fritillary

(a rather worn) Red Admiral

Small Skipper

Brown Argus

Nettle-leaved bellflower (Campanula trachelium)

Corn Mint (Mentha arvensis)

Enchanter's Nightshade (Circaea lutetiana)  

Wild Parsnip (Pastinaca sativa)


  1. A good haul of flutters there Jase, including a few I dont see here, enjoy the weekend mate :-)

  2. Thanks Warren...have a good one yourself mate.

    Cheers Bob!

  3. You saw more there Jason than I see in a month of Sundays!
    We've got Enchanter's Nightshade in the garden - one of my favourites, and also apparently a favourite of the Elephant Hawk Moth larva (although I've not seen one of those yet).

  4. It is a great reserve Rob...not one I visit often as its about 45 min drive away from where I live (especially with petrol prices these days).

    Thants interesting about the Enchanter's Nightshade. I've learned something new there